Prison murder accused fume over postponement

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Three convicts who stand accused of killing a fellow inmate became furious in the Windhoek High Court yesterday after one of their defence counsels did not show up in court, consequently causing the case to be postponed to May 8.

Thirty-eight-year-old Herman Rukero, Benedictus Afrikaner, 31, and 48-year-old Maleachi Seibeb could not stomach the thought of their case being postponed to May 8.
Defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht explained that fellow defence counsel Mbanga Siyomunji was not in court for medical reasons. But even with such explanation mumbles of disgruntlement could be heard from the trio seated in the dock.

Rukero, Afrikaner and Seibeb appeared in court for final submission before sentencing.
The three were found guilty of murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice on February 8.

According to the prosecution they had a hand in the murder of their fellow inmate, 33-year-old Eddy Gomxob, in January 2012.

Gomxob was stabbed multiple times while he was in the prison bathroom. The men tried to conceal the incident by instilling fear in their fellow inmates not to reveal what they had witnessed.

According to the post-mortem report presented in court, Gomxob’s death was a result of a head injury and 11 puncture stab wounds to his chest.

Rukero, Afrikaner and Seibeb have denied having a hand in Gomxob’s death even though their testimonies were contradicted by those of their fellow inmates.
Through cross-examination details surfaced that Rukero was in a romantic relationship with the deceased. However, Rukero explained that he had ended the relationship with the victim before he was found dead.

The trio are serving time for rape, attempted murder, aggravated assault and escaping from custody, among others.
Defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji was to represent Rukero and Seibeb, while Engelbrecht appears for Afrikaner. State advocate Ethel Ndlovu is prosecuting.

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